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Knicks reportedly testing Mitchell Robinson trade waters and Hartenstien likely to stay in New York

Knicks reportedly testing Mitchell Robinson trade waters and Hartenstien likely to stay in New York

Sometimes NBA free agency is a game of connecting the dots. That’s how it is with the Knicks’ big men right now.

He Oklahoma City Thunder just traded for Alex Caruso, who gives them a defense-first guard who will likely start alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (and makes their starting five look like the Celtics). Caruso is in the final year of his contract and can sign an extension in December (six months after the trade) for up to four years, $78.8 million. Oklahoma City has more than $33 million in cap space this summer, but will keep much of that in reserve to extend Carusso. That means the Thunder appear to be out of the market for Isaiah Hartenstein, with OKC rumored to be considering a big short-term (two-year) contract offer to land the center from New York.

It now appears that Hartenstein will stay with the Knicks this summer, which has New York testing the trade waters for Mitchell Robinson. Jake Fischer reports on Yahoo Sports.

At this time, Hartenstein is expected to return to New York as the Knicks have contacted opposing teams about moving Mitchell Robinson, sources said.

Robinson was a defensive force for the Knicks as a rim protector, but battled injuries for much of last season. With Robinson down in the playoffs, Hartenstein stepped up and made a lot of money. The most the Knicks can offer him is four years and $72.5 million, and that appears to be enough. Robinson has two years and $27.2 million left on his contract, a reasonable contract that should generate interest throughout the league.

However, many teams are looking to trade big men with bigger contracts, Fischer adds.

League staff told Yahoo Sports that the Bucks are open to reshaping their roster and are evaluating the trade value of Brook Lopez… Atlanta, sources said, continues to pursue deals for veteran center Clint Capela, who is entering in the last year of a contract. that he still owes the 30-year-old tire protector $22 million. Rival teams believe Utah is willing to engage in trade talks that would separate Jazz second-year center Walker Kessler. And the Detroit Pistons are evaluating the market for Isaiah Stewart, according to league sources.

There are a lot of big men on the market, and the draft has players like Donovan Clingan and Zach Edey who can step in now and play minutes as a backup five (the Thunder are rumored to be considering those two as possible backups to Chet Holmgren). .

There may be a lot of big men on the move this summer as teams want to reshuffle rosters, reduce tax bills and move toward more five-out lineups. Knicks Robinson could be one of them.